Are You Proficient?

Friday, March 16, 2018

The term "proficiency" has been a part of the Pathfinder rules since the very beginning, but in the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, we've expanded the concept to cover more than just weapons and armor. In the new proficiency system, your proficiency matters for just about every check you attempt and DC you have. You don't just have proficiency in weapons, which helps when you swing a sword, or proficiency in armor, which protects you when you try to avoid a blow—instead, proficiency covers everything from axes to spells, from Acrobatics to Thievery, and from Perception to Will saves. Your proficiency in Fortitude saves can allow you to shake off virulent poisons in an instant, and your proficiency in Diplomacy might help you stop a fight before it begins. There are five different ranks of proficiency.

Untrained

An untrained character lacks even basic proficiency. He adjusts his checks and DCs by –2 and sometimes flat-out can't attempt certain things. For instance, someone who is untrained in Thievery might be able to try to steal from someone but isn't skilled enough to pick a lock, no matter how high level he is.

Illustration by Wayne Reynolds

Trained

A trained character has put in enough work that she's able to perform effectively. She can even start taking skill feats to achieve new and special effects with her skills. Many skill feats grow more and more powerful as your proficiency rank increases.

Expert

An expert is particularly accomplished in a particular field, adjusting her checks and DCs by +1, and gains access to more powerful features requiring expertise.

Master

A master is extremely skilled in an area, and she can achieve incredible results. In addition to adjusting her checks and DCs by +2, she may unlock powerful perks like master-level skill feats for skills, or the ability to dodge fireballs completely for Reflex saves. Other than a few classes like fighters, with their incredible command of weapons, characters can't become masters until level 7 at the earliest, and sometimes much later.

Legendary

A legendary character is world-class, and in addition to adjusting checks and DCs by +3, can routinely produce results that defy real-world explanation, even if they're not a spellcaster. For instance, a character who is legendary in Survival could learn to survive without food, water, or air in a featureless void, a character legendary in Thievery might be able to steal the armor off a guard, and a character with a legendary Will save might have a mind so strong that no mental intrusion can fully affect him. Most characters can't hope to become legendary until level 15 at the earliest, and even the mightiest fighters reach these heights with their weapons only at level 13. Most characters become legendary in only a few skills and one or two other statistics.

Proficiency Modifier

Your proficiency modifier is based partly on your rank and partly on your level—you add your level to the modifier from your rank to determine your proficiency modifier. For instance, a level 20 rogue who is legendary at Stealth might have a +23 proficiency modifier, while a level 1 paladin who is untrained at Stealth might have a –1 proficiency modifier. But does that mean that your level 20 untrained and magic-hating barbarian knows more about arcane magic than your friend's level 1 bibliophile wizard does? Not really. Your barbarian, with her extensive experience in battle, might be able to identify a dragon's weaknesses much better than the wizard with his ivory-tower book learning, but when it comes to magical theory, identifying the gestures that compose a spell, or other such topics, your barbarian simply doesn't know anything at all.

Gaining Proficiency

For most of your statistics, your starting proficiencies are determined by your class, though for skills, you can assign your ranks as you choose among any of the skills in the game. When it comes to leveling up, all classes gain skill rank increases at every odd-numbered level (or more often for the rogue!). Your other proficiencies increase based on your class and feat choices.

Making the Nonmagical Extraordinary

The best part about proficiencies is the way they push the boundaries for nonmagical characters, particularly those with a legendary rank. If you're legendary in something, you're like a character out of real-world myth and legend, swimming across an entire sea while beating up sea monsters like Beowulf, performing unbelievable tasks like Heracles, or hunting and racing at astounding speeds like Atalanta. While we did perform a bit of research on things like real world Olympic records and average expectations when it came to the lower ranks, masters and especially legends break all those rules. Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!

And that's the basics of how proficiency works! Thanks for reading, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Mark Seifter
Designer

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Tags: Pathfinder Playtest Wayne Reynolds
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Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Noir le Lotus wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Noir le Lotus wrote:

So Paizo thinks that in a system based on D20, the diffrence between being untrained and legendary at a skill is +4 ??

Seriously ??

No, the difference is +5 (-2 to +3), and also the ability to make certain checks that you can only make if Trained, and the ability to use incredibly powerful Skill Feats. Skill mastery in PF2 won't be about raw numbers, it'll be about what you can do with the numbers you have.

This is the same terrible game design that was featured in Ultimate Intrigue and Starfinder and I dont understand why they like shackling GMs this hard.

"No bobby you cant bluff the guard into thinking youre a noble because you dont have the Fake Noble skill feat" is just the absolute worst.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
eddv wrote:

No offense, but thats at level 20. 5 is actually a really really small gap compared to what we are used to seeing in 1e.

5 is still well within the realm of loldice making the barbarian grognard as likely to charm someone as my charming courtier bard. It really needs to be less bounded and flat or else skills are just going to be lame to focus on at all.

The barbarian is also much more likely to critically fail that roll, and your charming bard to critically succeed.


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edduardco wrote:
How does proficiency interacts with spells? are by school? I really hope not that would kill the generalist wizard.

The generalist wizard needs a nerf, to be quite fair. It's too easy to just be good at everything as a wizard in PF1, to the point it makes not being a generalist a poor idea.

Liberty's Edge

eddv wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
As I've said in another thread, not counting any sort of temporary buff effects or circumstance bonuses or penalties, it is possible to build two level 20 characters in PF2 with an all-day gap between their bonuses in the same skill of around 17-18. Proficiency is one piece of that split, with a potential gap up to 5 (and 5 is a really big advantage; all other modifiers being equal, which is almost certainly an overestimate of the untrained character, and rolling the same number on a d20, half of the untrained character's successes are critical successes for the legendary character, and half of the untrained character's failures are successes for the legendary character).

No offense, but thats at level 20. 5 is actually a really really small gap compared to what we are used to seeing in 1e.

5 is still well within the realm of loldice making the barbarian grognard as likely to charm someone as my charming courtier bard. It really needs to be less bounded and flat or else skills are just going to be lame to focus on at all.

It was already stated that there's a +11 difference available at level 7. +1 of that is almost certainly going from Trained to Expert, so even if there's another +2 difference in there, there's still a +8 difference between two characters at level 5. That's still a significant difference.


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Never felt so hopeful with the "proficiency" word in an fantasy RPG!

The 4e did not accomplished the good ideia well, and 5e just made 1st and 20th level PCs almost having the same competence, despite of class and ability scores. But now, is looks very promising. Thanks!

However, please do not be tied/stucked in 20th-level characters, please, se how the difference (and percentage chances to be successful) behave in all levels.

Having that in mind, is possible to assume that the number needed to be rolled in the dice will be always the same (like 8+) for a character who gets the greatest effort possible to maximize his skills?

You guys did this in a very good way in Starfinder skills DCs, can we expect something similar, but with these (seems like, at least) better, improved proficiencies rules?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Mark, the blog indicates you have proficiencies you start with, depending on your class. How do you learn new proficiencies? Is it a class ability? ("choose skill proficiency") Do you learn them through feats?

I'm hoping both is an option and not only via feats. If I want to play a skill monkey (and NOT have to be a Rogue) I would like to have the option to be proficient in many skills and gaining them only through feats would not be enough, especially as I will want to take other feats for my class, besides just skill proficiencies.


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eddv wrote:
No bobby you cant bluff the guard into thinking youre a noble because you dont have the Fake Noble skill feat" is just the absolute worst.

I wouldn't call it "the absolute worst", but I share your concern that this kind of thing might become heavily entrenched in PF2 with the proposed skill system. I think this has the potential to be really great, but if implemented incorrectly could lead to the sort of nonsense you're suggesting.

Liberty's Edge

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eddv wrote:
Noir le Lotus wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Noir le Lotus wrote:

So Paizo thinks that in a system based on D20, the diffrence between being untrained and legendary at a skill is +4 ??

Seriously ??

No, the difference is +5 (-2 to +3), and also the ability to make certain checks that you can only make if Trained, and the ability to use incredibly powerful Skill Feats. Skill mastery in PF2 won't be about raw numbers, it'll be about what you can do with the numbers you have.

This is the same terrible game design that was featured in Ultimate Intrigue and Starfinder and I dont understand why they like shackling GMs this hard.

"No bobby you cant bluff the guard into thinking youre a noble because you dont have the Fake Noble skill feat" is just the absolute worst.

Nobody's said anything about Skill Feats being required to do basic things, all the talk has been about them allowing you to do especially awesome things that normal people normally wouldn't be able to.


Stone Dog wrote:

I'm missing something...

Where do skill ranks come into this equation? Are they in addition to the proficiency bonus? Does a level five character trained in a skill have roughly a +10 before abilities are added?

In general I want to be in favor of this, but it reads like there are just bigger numbers involved, which may be to grease the DC+10 rules.

I'd like to read some more details about skill ranks, too.


Hobbun wrote:

Mark, the blog indicates you have proficiencies you start with, depending on your class. How do you learn new proficiencies? Is it a class ability? ("choose skill proficiency") Do you learn them through feats?

I'm hoping both is an option and not only via feats. If I want to play a skill monkey (and NOT have to be a Rogue) I would like to have the option to be proficient in many skills and gaining them only through feats would not be enough, especially as I will want to take other feats for my class, besides just skill proficiencies.

I believe the blog covers this as well. You get a new skill increase every odd numbered level. Presumably, a skill increase can be used to move a skill from untrained to trained.

Liberty's Edge

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Hobbun wrote:

Mark, the blog indicates you have proficiencies you start with, depending on your class. How do you learn new proficiencies? Is it a class ability? ("choose skill proficiency") Do you learn them through feats?

I'm hoping both is an option and not only via feats. If I want to play a skill monkey (and NOT have to be a Rogue) I would like to have the option to be proficient in many skills and gaining them only through feats would not be enough, especially as I will want to take other feats for my class, besides just skill proficiencies.

It's already been stated that all classes gain new skill ranks at least every other level. Ranks are what increase your proficiency.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Bruno Mares wrote:


Having that in mind, is possible to assume that the number needed to be rolled in the dice will be always the same (like 8+) for a character who gets the greatest effort possible to maximize his skills?

A character who continues putting their darnedest into something and becomes legendary is actually going to find they actually start needing slightly lower numbers to succeed and critically succeed over time against level-appropriate situations (or for armor, that the enemies are having more trouble hitting). But that said, we're not doing something weird where trees magically become harder to climb because you're higher level now; tasks have the difficulty that they have, so when you're coming back to try to climb the same ledge that gave you trouble many levels ago, you'll be able to handle it no problem!


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So are skill points in the game at all?

Second Seekers (Luwazi Elsbo)

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Pathfinder Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It almost necessarily means that as more skill feats come to exist that existing skills get less and less useful.

Unless they are planning to do something with skill feats that I am really not expecting I just don't see how it could end up any other way.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Arssanguinus wrote:
Save at mundane tasks, which they should ALSO be significantly better at, there will be little appreciable difference.

If you consider "twice as likely to crit success" and "half as likely to fumble" to be "little appreciable difference," then I'm not sure what can be said that would change your mind on the subject.

For me, though, I can sort of see the +level adjustment to proficiency as representing the fact that you're not just sitting on your hands for your whole career. You're around people that are better than you, and unless you're the most self-absorbed and oblivious person in the world, you're going to at minimum notice some of the things they do to achieve success in their areas of expertise, or at best actively talk about some of these things.

Like pitchers and hitters in baseball. I constantly see players talking on the bench, comparing notes about what the other team is doing and how best to take advantage of it... even in the American League where the pitchers don't hit for themselves. It's unreasonable to expect that people who want to be experts at what they do completely ignore everything else going on around them.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love the Tier breakdown we have here, it really lets me as a GM reframe the 15-20 level band as the “epic levels” so I don’t need CRs above 25.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Bardic Dave wrote:

I believe the blog covers this as well. You get a new skill increase every odd numbered level. Presumably, a skill increase can be used to move a skill from untrained to trained.

JRutterbush wrote:
It's already been stated that all classes gain new skill ranks at least every other level. Ranks are what increase your proficiency.

Ok, thanks. I missed that skill ranks determine your proficiency level.


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I hate to say it, but this sounds like another thing people are going to say "this is such a great idea" now but two years from now really hate it. Hopefully I'm wrong on that, I'm still trying to be hopeful an not cause any drama (cause everyone including me hates drama). Who knows maybe in the playtest I‘ll warm up to it.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm guessing (hoping) you won't need a skill feat to attempt mundane things. I imagine most of them are either bonuses to certain uses of a skill (imagine Expert Climber as a feat, for if you want to be better at climbing than just your Athletics proficiency normally gives you) or abilities that aren't mundane.

The examples he gave like swimming an entire ocean while fighting isn't a mundane use of Athletics. Hell I character probably could attempt it without the feats, but unless they roll natural twenties for several months of once a round checks they are going to drown. The feat might give you something like "You gain a swim speed and can tread water even while unconscious." Likewise the jumping 20ft into the air from standing is something you could likely attempt to do, its just the DC is ridiculously high, but you could easily have a feat that lets you jump from standing as if you had a running start or merely states that you use the horizontal jumping DCs when jumping vertically.


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Quote:
Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!.

Pleeeease tell me this level of agility isn't gated behind Legendary. This is Expert territory.


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I'm not entirely sold on adding full level, but I do really like lessening the importance of rank investment in bonuses. In PF1, if I want to keep actively using most important skills, like Diplomacy or Acrobatics, I have no choice but to keep adding ranks every level to keep up with DCs. Here, I can just invest as many ranks as I need to unlock the skill feats I want, or spend them making new skills fully accessible, and I don't just have to commit everything to X+Int skills (where X is my class skills per level) and stick with that, save for some one point drops in important trained only skills.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
eddv wrote:

It almost necessarily means that as more skill feats come to exist that existing skills get less and less useful.

Unless they are planning to do something with skill feats that I am really not expecting I just don't see how it could end up any other way.

Yes, you gain skill points at every odd level to distribute.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

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Hi Mark,

It looks like you're making some elements which we would traditionally consider to be mythic and essentially hard coding them right into the core rules. For example, swimming across the ocean or fighting sea monsters like Beowulf. Is that a fair assessment? If so, I like it.

Is there anything you can say about how skills will interact with combat and CR? Often it felt like they weren't strictly compatible (or didn't scale in unison).


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Bardic Dave wrote:
eddv wrote:
No bobby you cant bluff the guard into thinking youre a noble because you dont have the Fake Noble skill feat" is just the absolute worst.
I wouldn't call it "the absolute worst", but I share your concern that this kind of thing might become heavily entrenched in PF2 with the proposed skill system. I think this has the potential to be really great, but if implemented incorrectly could lead to the sort of nonsense you're suggesting.

I feel like "anything that anybody can attempt with some idea of how to do it" should be fair game for untrained people to do. Like "telling a plausible lie, when agreeing with it puts minimal onus on the listener" should be in that category, easily. So you could bluff the guard, untrained, in that you are a noble and thus shouldn't be hassled, but you might need some skill unlocks to bluff the guard that you are a noble and thus it's fine to loan you money and their keys, since any noble is going to be good for the loan and won't do anything untoward with the keys.

But "examples" are going to be really important in that chapter I feel.


Does each level of proficiency give the same fraction of level to your proficiency bonus?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

I am hoping that PF2 avoids the Star Wars Saga problem that the Brand's 4th edition adopted. The "trained or suck" mechanic. It combined with a lousy skill encounter trap that made sure of the challenge by hamstringing the player.

Mark's last post gives me hope, though, as there is not scaling DC's as was the case with the Brand's version of this.


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eddv wrote:

No offense, but thats at level 20. 5 is actually a really really small gap compared to what we are used to seeing in 1e.

5 is still well within the realm of loldice making the barbarian grognard as likely to charm someone as my charming courtier bard. It really needs to be less bounded and flat or else skills are just going to be lame to focus on at all.

I'm curious how this turns out. I'm making a lot of assumptions here, but let's give it a shot.

I'm going to assume a PF2-ish "schmooze" DC of CR + Wis + 10. We'll take a minor noble for our example: CR 5, Wis at +2, DC is 17. Beat the DC by 10 and you have a new best friend, fail by ten and you've got yourself a rival. We will generously abstain from any circumstance modifiers.

Barbarian grognard has not invested in social skills. Untrained Diplomacy, 10 Cha.
5 - 2 + 0 = +3 Diplomacy

Charming courtier Bard is doing some basic investment- Expert proficiency, 18 Cha.
5 + 1 + 4 = +9 Diplomacy

Barbarian succeeds on a 14, flubs on a 4. That's 20% chance of an enemy, 45% chance nothing happens, 35% chance of schmoozing, and 0% chance of a new best friend.

Bard succeeds on an 8, crits on an 18. That's 0% chance of an enemy, 35% chance of nothing happening, 50% chance of schmoozing, and 15% chance of a new best friend.

The likelihood that the Barbarian gets a better result than the Bard: 12%
So, there's a 12% chance that the minor noble dismisses the Bard as just another social climber like he's used to, and is instead taken by the Barbarian's unpolished manner, and willing to listen to what the life of a real adventurer is like.

The likelihood that the Bard gets a better result than the Barbarian: 55%
So, there's a 55% chance that, yeah, washing yourself and sucking up helps make friends.

If there are any circumstance modifiers, or the Bard decides to put a skill feat into the mix, I don't think there's any contest at all.


eddv wrote:

This is the same terrible game design that was featured in Ultimate Intrigue and Starfinder and I dont understand why they like shackling GMs this hard.

"No bobby you cant bluff the guard into thinking youre a noble because you dont have the Fake Noble skill feat" is just the absolute worst.

While I was doing Kung-Fu, and training with someone a little higher-ranked than me, I tried to trip him (training combat). I tell you that was impossible for me.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Bardic Dave wrote:
eddv wrote:
No bobby you cant bluff the guard into thinking youre a noble because you dont have the Fake Noble skill feat" is just the absolute worst.
I wouldn't call it "the absolute worst", but I share your concern that this kind of thing might become heavily entrenched in PF2 with the proposed skill system. I think this has the potential to be really great, but if implemented incorrectly could lead to the sort of nonsense you're suggesting.

I feel like "anything that anybody can attempt with some idea of how to do it" should be fair game for untrained people to do. Like "telling a plausible lie, when agreeing with it puts minimal onus on the listener" should be in that category, easily. So you could bluff the guard, untrained, in that you are a noble and thus shouldn't be hassled, but you might need some skill unlocks to bluff the guard that you are a noble and thus it's fine to loan you money and their keys, since any noble is going to be good for the loan and won't do anything untoward with the keys.

But "examples" are going to be really important in that chapter I feel.

Yes, codifying this will be very tricky and the result could be extremely convoluted and confusing. I hope Paizo's able to sever this Gordian knot!


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Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Quote:
Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!.
Pleeeease tell me this level of agility isn't gated behind Legendary. This is Expert territory.

Currently, no human being can even remotely jump 10 feet straight up into the air, so I'd say 20 feet would indeed be quite legendary.


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Having fully considered and pondered this. I wish to respond in a measured and thoughtful manner, avoiding a juvenile knee-jerk reaction. I am going to fail in this aspiration. I hate it, hate it, hate it. I hope someone will do what Paizo did when WOTC messed with our game and provide an exit route.


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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Quote:
Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!.
Pleeeease tell me this level of agility isn't gated behind Legendary. This is Expert territory.

The world record for a high jump (twisting backwards over a bar, not smashing anybody) is eight feet. If "world record" is Expert level, I'm guessing that a twenty-foot jump is Master.


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I'm also pretty excited about playing a rogue where "super good at skills" is something legitimately awesome rather than just "something magical people can easily beat you at" (there is at least one spell in PF1 that give up to +30 to a skill check!) Where I can be an asset to the party because "higher level skills are super useful" not just to handle traps and do sneak attack damage. I don't think the way to make skills impressive is "higher numbers" but "recontextualizeing what skills can do" so I feel like they are on the right track.

I'm really hoping we get a PF2 version of the phantom thief archetype.


Okay, so skill ranks don't exist anymore, they are proficiency ranks now and they adjust your proficiency bonus directly.

That is largely fine. I've been using that Unchained rule for a while anyway.

Paizo Employee Designer

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kyrt-ryder wrote:
Quote:
Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!.
Pleeeease tell me this level of agility isn't gated behind Legendary. This is Expert territory.

I think that one comes early in the master levels, actually. Don't expect trained or expert (and all characters start with at least something at expert at 1st level, even if certain categories are much harder to reach expert) to be drastically breaking real world records; these are characters at their earliest levels in the game. The world record for even a running high jump is about 8 feet up.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

This is incredibly vague and confusing. Unlike the blog posts on things like Actions or leveling up, this leaves us with no real understanding what is going on. For instance, training in Fortitude or Will saves. It almost sounds like people will have to choose between having a character with a well-rounded series of abilities because they invested their skills in them but who is easily poisoned or mind-controlled, and a character who is able to adventure and survive the world but is dumb as a rock.

This also brings into question what happens when someone learns a new skill set when they are several levels in. If their skill ability is based on level, then does that mean that if you have a level 10 Paladin who finally is tired of being the loud clunky one and gets trained in Stealth that they suddenly have a +10 to their Stealth roll instead of penalties? Did everyone already have that +10 and are basically stealthy in which point there isn't much need to be proficient?

If I sound confused and like I have no idea what I'm talking about, it's because I'm confused and have no idea what I'm talking about. I've been liking what I've been hearing about 2nd Edition Pathfinder up until now. But without a better knowledge of how proficiencies work... well... I can understand you can't give us too many specifics as you need to save things for the actual playtest. But this just left me confused... and I've been gaming with AD&D, DND, and Pathfinder for some 40 years now.

*sigh* Okay, I suppose I'm being vague as well.

If I could have one thing answered, it is: how do skill proficiencies work, learning new skill proficiencies, and gaining increased experience in them under the new system? Or are skill proficiencies going away entirely for the sake of simplicity?

Liberty's Edge

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So, my concern is that, because the proficiency bonus is so low, there's really not a lot of room for across type style skill investment. A fighter with 0 cha bonus is pretty much always going to be worse, or at least even, at rolling face skills than a bard or sorcerer, even if they have no investment whatsoever in the skill. Sure, a skill feat might allow you to do more with the skill, but if it's not something that requires special investment to perform, you might as well let the bard or sorcerer do it.

That's something that I like with the current system. Fighter can be the face, wizard can disarm traps. You don't feel like you're being shoehorned into the skills that your ability modifiers make you good at, because there's enough bonuses to be had, and enough of a difference between character that train in a skill and those that don't that picking odd skills still works. With the range of the skill bonuses being tightened up, it feels like if you're not taking the skills your class (or ability modifiers) is/are going to be good at, you're kind of wasting your time.


If we had the granularity to have Master between Expert and Legendary I might be OK with that.

In my own games tin can Knight types gain access to a 20 foot vertical leap around level 10ish.

By Legendary levels (13 plus) even the tin cans are approaching 100 feet (unless their character concept is exceptionally grounded as an intentional theme)

EDIT: So I was mistaken, Mark set me straight (to which I replied below)


Mark Seifter wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Quote:
Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!.
Pleeeease tell me this level of agility isn't gated behind Legendary. This is Expert territory.
I think that one comes early in the master levels, actually. Don't expect trained or expert (and all characters start with at least something at expert at 1st level, even if certain categories are much harder to reach expert) to be drastically breaking real world records; these are characters at their earliest levels in the game. The world record for even a running high jump is about 8 feet up.

Ok wow I misread.

Somehow I missed the Master Grade. (And assumed Expert was not accessible until at least level 6ish)

I am cautiously optimistic about this. Thanks Mark!


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Dragon78 wrote:

So are skill points in the game at all?

Curious to know this as well. But given the way it's written, probably not.

I feel like skill points would add the extra difference people are looking for. Like, every other level you get x skill ranks that can either up your proficiency or just add bonuses to the skill.


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Tangent101 wrote:
This is incredibly vague and confusing. Unlike the blog posts on things like Actions or leveling up, this leaves us with no real understanding what is going on. For instance, training in Fortitude or Will saves. It almost sounds like people will have to choose between having a character with a well-rounded series of abilities because they invested their skills in them but who is easily poisoned or mind-controlled, and a character who is able to adventure and survive the world but is dumb as a rock.

You can't take away from your skills to improve your saves. Your saves are provided by your class. (Possibly modified by class or general feats or something, that we don't know.) I think we can expect Rogue to be legendary at reflex saves, and Barbarian to be Legendary at fortitude saves, for instance.

Paizo Employee Designer

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Jim Groves wrote:

Hi Mark,

It looks like you're making some elements which we would traditionally consider to be mythic and essentially hard coding them right into the core rules. For example, swimming across the ocean or fighting sea monsters like Beowulf. Is that a fair assessment? If so, I like it.

Is there anything you can say about how skills will interact with combat and CR? Often it felt like they weren't strictly compatible (or didn't scale in unison).

Since the numbers scale roughly in tandem with each othe, they can be used as equivalencies in far more places than before (aka, roll this skill instead of an attack roll, etc)


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rooneg wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Dαedαlus wrote:

I feel like calling everything 'proficiencies' and 'feats' might get a bit confusing, but maybe that's just me.

Also, it seems strange that the adventurer who's spent all his life plundering Ancient Osirani tombs might go to the sea and immediately be better at sailing than someone who's spent decades on the deck of a ship.

That said, I am all for making skills awesome again. By the time you hit level 15, logic goes out the window, and I can't wait to make a thief with Skyrim-style pickpocketing.

Your tomb raider actually wouldn't be able to practically sail at all, though you might know basic facts like the names of different ships that you read about somewhere. An actual sailor trained in the skill would be able to practice sailing. Now if your tomb raider became trained in it, that's a different story.
But that's part of the problem. If your higher level character somehow becomes "trained" in Sailing they immediately jump from "I know the names of some ships" to "I am better at this than everyone on the boat because I'm a 15th level character". That strains credulity. I'm not sure I like the way that level mixes in to this at all.

To be fair, situations like this can already happen in 1e.

You would run out of fingers trying to count the wizards that bang on about how it takes years of careful study to become a wizard but the truth of it is in game terms a level one rogue could spend a week adventuring, if that, and come back as wizardly as the 1st-level wizard that started his adventure at 60 because he'd been practicing cantrips for the last 30 years.

Or said rogue at level 9 finding herself a landlubber that's in a campaign with some nautical interests. Come level 10 after defeating a sea serpent, she decides to pause up on maxing out other skills for a bit and sinks 10 ranks into Profession (Sailor), which is a class skill. With her minimum +13 bonus (and probably more than that, given that rogues like their wisdom nice and high to spot traps and keep the will saves at bay) she has become a masterful sailor overnight.

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QuidEst wrote:
Tangent101 wrote:
This is incredibly vague and confusing. Unlike the blog posts on things like Actions or leveling up, this leaves us with no real understanding what is going on. For instance, training in Fortitude or Will saves. It almost sounds like people will have to choose between having a character with a well-rounded series of abilities because they invested their skills in them but who is easily poisoned or mind-controlled, and a character who is able to adventure and survive the world but is dumb as a rock.
You can't take away from your skills to improve your saves. Your saves are provided by your class. (Possibly modified by class or general feats or something, that we don't know.) I think we can expect Rogue to be legendary at reflex saves, and Barbarian to be Legendary at fortitude saves, for instance.

Ancestry feats, too! Something about the Dwarfiest Dwarf being legendary at resisting poisons.


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So, where in Pathfinder, there is the trained/untrained divide specifying what your character can't achieve, we now have a "You must be at least Expert in this skill to succeed here" barrier.

So the system is intrinsically limiting a character's abilities. And every time more options with these "skill barriers" are printed, it will continue to limit them.

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You can still be the face and whatever as a fighter, if you invest the resources into it. From skill feats to magic items etc...

Now if your concern is I want to be a face better than a bard...you are going to have a bad time. As bards are literally designed to be face characters and probably get bonuses to using social skills (guessing PF2 still has bards with the ability to use perform skills instead of other skills)

But anyway, so far, I don't think that it is too bad. People who wants to be good at something basically invest into it.


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I think people are undervaluing the effect of that +5 gap between untrained and legendary, because they are thinking about the regular OPF system, with its DCs and such.

With the >10< crit/failure system, you can get a much more different degree of success between 2 characters even if their total modifier is relatively close.

Let's say, for example, Diplomacy allows you to change your target Attitude by +1, but if you miss by 10+ it becomes 1 step worse, and if you hit by 10+, it becomes 2 steps better. That's something I'm pulling right from my arse, but it's an example of what "crits and fumbles" could do in a skill.

Let's say that, at a given level, player A, who is untrained, has to hit 13+. Player B, trained, has to hit 11. And Player C, who is legendary, has to hit 8+.

We also have that Player A will make his target worse with a roll of 1-3, and can never get 2 positive shifts in the attitude column. Player B will "fumble" with a roll of 1. Player 3 will never fumble, and will shift 2 steps in attitude with a roll of 18+. That's not including the fact that Player A, without any skill in Diplomacy, can probably have like +0 to Charisma, while Player C might probably have at least +4, and maybe skills, racial bonus, magic items, etc. Let's say he has +4 charisma and a +1 bonus from some background or whatever. He'll be shifting TWO attitude steps with 13+. The same roll that the untrained guy needs to shift 1 step. He'll never fumble, too, while the untrained guy will make things worse on 3+

That's a big difference, in my opinion. And it will be even bigger difference once we know the kind of legendary stuff the guy with legendary diplomacy can do. Maybe he can Mass Charm Person, or shift attitudes in combat, or who knows which awesome things he can do.


Mark Seifter wrote:
kyrt-ryder wrote:
Quote:
Want your fighter to leap 20 feet straight up and smash a chimera down to the ground? You can do that (eventually)!.
Pleeeease tell me this level of agility isn't gated behind Legendary. This is Expert territory.
I think that one comes early in the master levels, actually. Don't expect trained or expert (and all characters start with at least something at expert at 1st level, even if certain categories are much harder to reach expert) to be drastically breaking real world records; these are characters at their earliest levels in the game. The world record for even a running high jump is about 8 feet up.

Could you tell us the earliest one could expect to pick up a Master level skill?

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Dαedαlus wrote:
I mean, I'm much more concerned that what skills let you do, the core of the Skill system, is suitably awesome. Remember, this will go through months of playtesting, so I'm sure that by the end of it, bonuses will feel sufficiently distinct, be that with a +5 difference or a +15, it just means a few numbers need to be scaled and DCs to match. I'm far less concerned with that and more with the fact that YOU CAN PICKPOCKET ARMOR RIGHT OFF OF A GUARD.

"I wanna steal his pants."

Dark Archive

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ryschwith wrote:

My primary concern is that the lists of what you can and can't do at specific tiers will become something of a memory nightmare.

"I'm going to pole-vault across that gap."
"You can't do that until you're at expert."
"Is that expert? I thought that was trained..."
"Let me check... no, wait, you're right, trained. But earlier when you leapt out of that loft without taking damage, that should've required expert..."

I foresee variations of that conversation happening constantly.

This is my greatest concern. Now not only do I need a table to tell me how far a running character can jump given a total number, but I have to try and keep track of what kind of jumps he can attempt? My 5th female dwarven fighter is an expert intimidator, but since she's only expert and not master, can she stare down a minotaur?

That doesn't sound easier, that sounds like trying to memorize AD&D To Hit tables.

Quote:

Dαedαlus wrote:

I'm far less concerned with that and more with the fact that YOU CAN PICKPOCKET ARMOR RIGHT OFF OF A GUARD.

How many times have we seen in various fantasy books thieves that could steal the rings off your finger by shaking your hand? Legendary pick-pocketing is almost a staple of the genre. Granted, it's not stealing the armor off the guard's body, but there are days I can't take my own ring off and you're telling me this schmuck can steal it without me noticing it?

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